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The Apple Watch Ultra two and a half months later
The Apple Watch Ultra has turned out to be a… watch.
That sounds silly of course, but it is not easy for a smart watch to be deemed a ‘watch’ by anyone who likes watches.
I have never believed that a smart watch cannot be real in horoligcal terms and do tend to see anything that attaches to the wrist as a real watch, but there is a vast difference in how they can feel when worn.
Everything about the Ultra is wrong design-wise; it is too big, too square, too high and it looks a bit daft at times.
It is, however, light and comfortable thanks to the variety of straps that can be attached in a second and I really do not notice it too much during the day.
It has taught me to not be so concerned about how a watch looks, no one else cares after all, and it is not important, but it has so much utility that I sometimes wonder why I put on a normal watch for a period of time.
If you take a light touch approach to the Ultra it starts to truly shien in the moments when you push it a little. As a somple example, if I go for a walk at lunchtime I set a timer for my lunch break, play a podcast or some music through my AirPods and track the activity by hitting the Action button. If these 3 functions running together are not impressive to you, it is also checking my heart rate, monitoring for new messages, emails and other notifications, and checking just in case I fall over and bang my head or something.
A big number of things are happening at any one time and they almost always go unnoticed.
You could argue that a normal Apple Watch would also do all of the above, and of course it would, but the extended Ultra battery does have an impact. It is still not great in my opinion, but each day I can get it back to between 90 and 100% on the charging puck while I am having a shower. It is ‘just’ good enough for the battery to not be an issue when at home. When away from home or potentially in an area with limited power for a few days, that opinion could drop very quickly.
There is something very honest about the Ultra form. It is not trying to be a sleek timepiece like a stainless steel model and it is openly designed for men, and this is perhaps why I am more positive about it than I expected to be.
It is a smart watch, obviously it is, but there are times when I forget that even though I am looking at a square display that is completely flat and bright. And after two and a half months of wear I really can appreciate what the Ultra is. It feels as if the Ultra is 75% of the way to the level of completeness the iPhone is in terms of being a do-it-all phone. In 3 releases time it could be amazing.